12.31.2009 0

Oklahomas Dynamic Duo

  • On: 01/15/2010 09:48:44
  • In: Conservative Movement
  • By David Bozeman

    Often the true mark of a leader’s impact can be measured not in the glowing tributes of his staunchest supporters but by sifting through the bile spewed by his critics. Oklahoma Republican senators Tom Coburn and James Inhofe, for instance, are among President Obama’s major roadblocks to enacting his agenda, as confirmed by the voices of those in newspapers and on the Internet who clearly don’t like them.

    Junior senator Coburn, up for re-election this year, has relentlessly opposed Obama-care. Thinkprogress.com reports (as if it’s a bad thing) that Coburn tried to force the reading of a 767-page amendment proposed by Bernie Sanders (I-VT). But Coburn, the site continues, “let the truth slip out” when he stated that the GOP’s role is to defeat the health care bill. According to Coburn, “There’s nothing wrong with the word ‘no.’ ‘No’ is a word Washington needs to hear.The American people want to hear us say ‘no.’ “ OK, now tell me what he’s done wrong.

    Tom Coburn is so not cool. He is crude, outspoken and, according to George Will in 2006, he is “someone simply uninterested in being liked.”

    A December 31, 2009 editorial in the Fayetteville (North Carolina) Observer blasting the Sooner State pair accuses Coburn of “obstructionism against health care reform” and “making them read aloud all the legalese small-type language.” If small-government patriots keep hearing all this ‘criticism,’ can a Draft Coburn for 2012 movement be far behind? The Observer also charges that Coburn (who is a medical doctor) expects other senators to do their duty by their salaries, yet he flies home every weekend and spends a full day practicing medicine in his hometown clinic.

    Citizens, start a recall! We can’t have our leaders back home treating the sick when they should be in Washington selling their votes like Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu. That’s not the American way! Hypocrisy or not, most Americans would praise a public official who returns regularly to his day job. And we know the insurance industry is the demon du jour for the purpose of passing Obama-care, but when did doctors become the villains, too?

    When liberal bloggers start highlighting your Southern Baptist affiliation and your beliefs on pornography, you have probably drawn blood legislatively. Coburn is tainted by Senator John Ensign’s sex scandal, as well, because, in addition to urging the Nevada Republican to end his affair, he reportedly urged him to help his mistress pay off her financial debts. By liberal standards of damage, the ‘hypocrisy’ charge alone equals one substantive policy debate, thus it litters public discourse, along with ‘crank,’ ‘blowhard’ and ‘embarrassment,’ among other terms of endearment.

    As for James Inhofe, member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, he is a ‘global warming denier,’ which, of course, amounts to liberal blasphemy. Similar in tone, temperament and values to Coburn, Inhofe has won three (so far) Hypocrite of the Week awards from one web site, and, according to Arianna Huffington, “is always in the running for the title of dumbest senator.” He attended the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit and surely embarrassed members of the American delegation there to rub elbows with European sophisticates.

    Spirited opposition to encroaching federal power used to define statesmanship, but today, upholding the principles of limited government against omnipotent Nanny-staters and climate change alarmists is like wearing white socks with a tuxedo. Definitely not in fashion, particularly if you hail from an electorally unimportant red state — isn’t Oklahoma practically Alaska? But the Observer piece most succinctly sums up Oklahoma’s dynamic duo, stating that they adhere to the dictum that “the main job of a U.S. senator is to dismantle the federal government.”

    At last! Somebody gets it! Now again, tell me their bad points!

    David Bozeman, former North Carolina Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer for Americans for Limited Government.

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